The only way to describe the year 2011 is that it was simply built differently. This was a year that offered an abundance of killer video game titles that were consistently released back to back. We were treated to absolute gems with the likes of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2, Dark Souls, and so many more that this list could go on and on. This month we are celebrating 10 years since the release of the absolute spectacle that is Gears Of War 3.
Gears Of War 3 launched on September 20, 2011, and was widely accepted by critics and fans alike. This was meant to serve as the conclusion to the trilogy of games created by Epic Games. After having to wait in anticipation for nearly three years after the release of Gears Of War 2, players were eagerly waiting to "finish the fight," so to say, against the Locust Horde.
The buildup around this game had nearly everything a fan could ask for. Originally dated to release in April of 2011, the title was delayed and pushed back to September to be one of the stand-out titles during the holiday season. Luckily for fans, an open Multiplayer Beta was released around the time of the original release date. Players could even get into the action a few days earlier if they purchased People Can Fly's "Bullet-Storm" (a very underrated game, by the way). The Beta allowed players to earn an exclusive golden retro lancer weapon skin and a Thrashball Cole character skin to use in multiplayer modes when the final product was released later that year.
Fate Of Carmine Campaign
Leading up to the release of Gears 3, Epic Games launched the Fate of Carmine campaign. As the title states, fans of the franchise were able to decide the fate of the newest member of the accident-prone Carmine family, Private Clayton Carmine. The Carmine family has been a favorite among the Gears community over the years due to the running gag that not only is each Carmine a force to be reckoned with, but they are all but guaranteed to die in each game in some horrible fashion. Fans were able to cast their vote by purchasing two different t-shirts for their Xbox avatars on the Xbox 360 marketplace. One saying "SAVE CARMINE" and the other "CARMINE MUST DIE!". The t-shirt with the most sales would be dubbed the winner and seal the fate of Delta squads newest teammate.
Trailers, Trailers, And Trailers
Next up came the trailers. The series has had a reputation for the past 16 years of dishing out emotional trailers, which not only show all the war and violence that is to be expected but the personal struggles that come with it and how far this story has come. And boy did they deliver. The story reveal trailer featured Black sabbath's "War Pigs," playing over a handful of Epic moments that players can expect while chainsawing their way through the campaign alone or with up to three friends. Then there were the more somber and heart-felt trailers titled "Ashes To Ashes" and "Dust To Dust," which focus more on the Brothers To The End aspect of the game. Here you get a feel for how close these brothers in arms truly are and just how much they have been through and sacrificed throughout the years fighting to bring back some form of peace to their world.
For a mega-blockbuster game, you needed to have quite a star-studded cast, and that was a department Gears 3 needed no help in. Rounding out Delta Squads’ voice actors is John Dimaggio who played the veteran war hero Marcus Fenix, and Carlos Ferro as the loyal and courageous Dominic Santiago. Lester Speight unleashed his energetic and lovable personality as Thrashball player turned soldier Augustus Cole, while Fred Tatasciore perfected the sarcastic yet resourceful Damon Baird. Not only did Epic secure these larger than life voice actors to play the leading roles in the series, but they also went a step further in casting Black Panther star Michael B Jordan as Corporal Jace Stratton and actor/rapper Ice-T to play Stranded Leader and CEO of Griffin Imulsion Corporation, Aaron Griffin. These voice actors gave it everything they had and gave players an experience like no other with terrific chemistry and key moments in the game that still leave players emotional even ten years later.
Gear Up Soldier!
At long last, Gears Of War 3 was released worldwide, and with it came an end to a six-year trilogy. The campaign tied up many loose ends in terms of story and lore but also left enough threads open just in case it had a story to tell in the distant future (which we now know is the case with the more recent titles). The campaign also featured an arcade mode where players could compete with other Xbox live friends to see who could get the highest score in each chapter. Fun and unique features were implemented in the form of mutators that added more pleasure or difficulty to your playthroughs, such as infinite ammo, big head mode, or no ammo pickups.
Other game modes that launched alongside the campaign included the ever-popular Horde mode 2.0 and the newest game mode to the franchise “Beast mode.” Horde 2.0 was bigger, badder, and better than the horde that launched previously in Gears Of War 2. This time around, players were introduced to a new currency system in which every kill a player gets, they receive points. These may be redeemed to buy fortifications such as barriers and sentries to help defend from the never-ending onslaught of incoming waves of enemies. A variety of new bosses were added to the mix, which would randomly appear every ten waves causing players to think on their feet and adjust to several different scenarios. New to the series was Beast mode. Here it plays like the previously mentioned Horde mode but with a twist. This time you play as the Locust and wreak havoc on the COG heroes. Instead of buying fortifications, players unlock different tiers of Locust to take control of and tear through the enemy’s defenses.
Overall, when Gears Of War 3 was released ten years ago, it brought an experience like no other and is viewed as a game that still holds up in 2021. The series has since published over three novels, a line of comic books, six additional games, and even a movie adaptation in the works. While we wait for Gears 6 to inevitably come out, there’s no better time to revisit the past with Gears Of War 3 and join Marcus and the rest of Delta squad to once again bring back hope to humanity.
If you enjoyed this article and want to share your thoughts/experiences on the conclusion of the original Gears trilogy, leave a comment down below. And for all things Gears, be sure to check out some of my other articles including The Tears Of War - 10 Most Emotional Moments In Gears.